Artist turns clear out into work of creative aesthetic

Rachel Olin's 'Three hundred and sixty five times one point five equals eight thousand one hundred and ten (thirty two thousand four hundred and forty' made out of 8,110 small fabric knots on show in the Monomania exhibition at the Cupola Gallery, Sheffield.
Rachel Olin's 'Three hundred and sixty five times one point five equals eight thousand one hundred and ten (thirty two thousand four hundred and forty' made out of 8,110 small fabric knots on show in the Monomania exhibition at the Cupola Gallery, Sheffield.
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FORGET the Tate Gallery Bricks – the Cupola Gallery in Hillsborough is playing host to some of its own.

Locally-based artist Leslie Wilson has provided the gallery with a collection of 88 ‘bricks’ made from a whole lifetime’s paperwork.

Wilson explains: “My need was to have a massive clear out of accumulated stuff – mostly paper. However, I found it difficult to part with- it being part of my own history. I wanted to make something out of them- something aesthetic or at least useful in the long run: they can eventually be burned on an open fire, and are made very simply from paper and water.”

The ‘bricks’ are part of an exhibition based around the idea of ‘Monomania’.

The exhibition takes its name from a book by French cultural theorist Marina van Zuylen, Monomania: The Flight From Everyday Life In Literature And Art which explore the therapeutic attributes of obsession, especially in writers.

According to Karen Sherwood, who has curated the exhibition: “In over 21 years of running the gallery it has become more and more obvious to me that most artists show at least a hint (if not more) of Monomaniacal type tendencies.

“This is not a bad thing by any means as obsession or fixation with a particular idea or notion can result in the most amazing new ways of looking or seeing.”

Another striking piece by Rachel Olin, based in Lincolnshire, is what looks like a large heavy coat and is entitled: Three hundred and sixty five times one point five equals eight thousand one hundred and ten (thirty two thousand four hundred and forty). This piece has been made out of 8,110 small fabric knots each taking four minutes each to make. Other work includes intricate and painstaking textile hangings using invisible thread and mohair wool by Sabine J Bieli, collections of tiny seeds laid in precise grids by Stephen Butler, a series of 72 paintings based on Prime numbers by Paul Ashwell, paintings based on a ‘key’ obsession by Charlie Kirkham, a collection of cast glass sculptures derived from an obsessive fixation with a piece of driftwood by Jessie Lee, and a series of intricately decorated plates based around breathing or breath by Lorna Fellas.

Other artists exhibiting include John Lynch, Hannah Williamson, Del Coombs, Laura Angell, Ben Bucki, Robert Fisher, Jessie Lee and Imogen Perkin.

There is an opening evening at the gallery in Hillsborough on Friday for Monomania which continues until April 24.